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The mysterious skeleton lake of the Himalayas

Mysterious Universe
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Some historical mysteries have lain forgotten for centuries by man, buried by the sands, or snow, of time. Be it the remoteness of the location or the danger involved in reaching it, for whatever reason, these places have kept their mysteries to themselves over the ages, hidden in their dark corners of the world from the outside as time marches on around them. It is often pure accident that saves these historical oddities from eternal obscurity and dredges them into the light for us to finally take a look at

One such place lies high in the Himalaya Mountains of the Uttarakhand state of India; a small glacial lake called Roopkund. The lake is located in a remote area of craggy glaciers, rocky chasms, and snow blanketed mountains, at an altitude of 5,209 meters (16,499 feet).

Other than the stark remoteness of the barren, windswept locale, there is not much that is immediately peculiar or special about this lake. It is small, at only 2 meters deep, and typically remains completely frozen over throughout most of the year. One could typically go trekking past this lake and hardly even know it was there. Yet for one month a year, when the snow melts and the ice thaws, it becomes apparent why the lake has gained its other namesake “Skeleton Lake,” for one can peer into the clear water and find hundreds of skeletons peering back.

The ancient skeletons, which are over 1,200 years old and in varying stages of preservation, can be found scattered around the landscape and lurking at the bottom of the lake, visible through the frigid, crystal clear water. It is truly a haunting sight to hike among the majestic peaks and find oneself among this bleak grave of a lake and its numerous skeletons strewn about, like some open air, forgotten tomb.

Although whispered about in rumors from as early as the 19th century, the official discovery of this gruesome, skeleton filled lake in the middle of nowhere was made by chance in 1942 by a British game reserve ranger, who stumbled across it while conducting a survey. During that summer, the ranger came across the thawed lake and went to investigate it, only to make the horrifying discovery of over two hundred human skeletons lying at the bottom, floating through the water, and strewn about haphazardly among the rocky shores.

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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